Orientation: Your First Week

No matter what orientation program your organization offers (or doesn’t), it is your responsibility to gather the information needed to get up to speed quickly and make a contribution early on in your employment.

Take notes! You won’t be able to remember everything you were told on those first few days.

2 male students communicating at a table


Before you start work, find out about:

  • When, where and to whom you should report

  • Your working hours

  • Parking locations; inquire about parking passes if applicable

  • Where to obtain relevant keys and the protocol for security procedures

  • Required documentation to bring that might be required (i.e. a void cheque for payroll)

  • What to wear; is there a dress code?

On your first day, find out about:

  • Location of lunchroom, microwave, refrigerator, washrooms, mailboxes

  • When to take designated breaks

  • How to treat overtime or lieu time

  • How to use telephone system (how to record your outgoing message and retrieve messages)

  • Information about relevant codes, passwords for computers and/or printers

  • The pay schedule and process for submitting timesheets and attendance

  • Office roles (introduce yourself to your colleagues, ask for an organizational flow chart if in a large company)

During your first week:

  • Continue to introduce yourself to others to get a big picture of how the organization functions

  • Learn company lingo and customs

  • Find out about projects that are in process that you will be involved in

  • Clarify questions about your portfolio, your responsibilities and/or committee involvement

  • Increase knowledge of the company (values, mission, customers, competitors, etc.)

  • Find out about HR procedures (vacation scheduling, calling in sick...)

  • Learn where the supplies are and the procedure for getting them

  • Make a list of needed extensions, phone numbers and emails that you will need in your daily activities